Plug-in electric-car sales for May: Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius Prime lead


2018 Nissan Leaf with EVgo fast charger at NJ Turnpike Molly Pitcher travel plaza, Feb 2018

2018 Nissan Leaf with EVgo fast charger at NJ Turnpike Molly Pitcher travel plaza, Feb 2018

After a slow month in April, sales of the Nissan Leaf came roaring back in May.

Nissan sold 1,576 Leafs in May, up from 1,171 the month before. The Leaf also had a record month in Canada, selling 906 units north of the border.

It is worth noting that this achievement was accomplished with the redesigned Leaf's 151-mile battery. A 220-mile battery is still due out later this year, which will increase the car's functionality but boost its price too.

READ THIS: Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn: 188 miles is enough for electric cars; now prices must be cut

Sales of the BMW i3 continued their slide from April, rolling out just 424 cars, versus 503 the month before.

Volkswagen's e-Golf sales were also down to 76 cars as the company transitions to a new Golf due out next year, and to a new strategy of dedicated electric-car models.

When it comes to plug-in hybrids, the Toyota Prius Prime also had a good month with 2,924 rolling off the lot, about half the total sales of the standard Prius Hybrid.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime, Catskill Mountains, NY, Nov 2016

2017 Toyota Prius Prime, Catskill Mountains, NY, Nov 2016

The Prius Prime last had such a good month in March, and has had a successful spring with another 2,626 sales in April. The Prius Prime is outselling all other plug-in hybrid models with more than double the sales of the next most popular, the Chevrolet Volt and the Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid.

Sales of the Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid took off, reaching 1,639 for May, versus 1,049 in April and 1.061 in March. Honda also sold 37 Clarity Electrics, and 30 Clarity Fuel-Cell vehicles.

General Motors has stopped releasing monthly sales numbers, opting for quarterly reports instead, so we don't have direct numbers for either the Chevy Volt or the Bolt EV. According to other industry analysts, sales of both cars hovered around 1,100 a month, up fractionally from prior months.

DON'T MISS: Plug-in Electric Car Sales in Canada, May 2018: Rewriting records

Sales of Porsche's plug-in hybrids dropped off after a boom last month as it sold down inventory of the previous version of the Cayenne e-Hybrid, the company said. Porsche sold just 59 Cayenne e-Hybrids in May, while sales of the Panamera e-Hybrid sales ticked up from 265 to 275.

Volvo's plug-in hybrid SUVs, the XC90 T8 and XC60 T8 each posted big gains, to 126 sales and 214 respectively. Sales of the S90 T8 plug-in hybrid sedan were essentially flat at 30 for the month.

CHECK OUT: Plug-in electric car sales for April: Leaf sales lag, spendy Porsches take off

The big news may come from Tesla, with third-party analysts reporting sales of about 3,500 Model 3s a week in May, which would represent about a 60 percent increase from the 2,200 deliveries a week the company reported in April and for most of the first-quarter of this year.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in the company's annual meeting on Tuesday that it is on track to build 5,000 Model 3s per week by the end of June. That level could make the Model 3 profitable and begin bringing in needed revenue for the company.

Update: This story has been updated with a comment from Porsche regarding Cayenne E-Hybrid sales as well as a breakdown of Honda Clarity sales. Both were provided after deadline. 

 
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